Baby Born 16 Weeks Premature With 10 Percent Survival Odds Is Now a Happy 2-Year-Old

Baby Born 16 Weeks Premature With 10 Percent Survival Odds Is Now a Happy 2-Year-Old
(Courtesy of Jasmine Tobias)
12/7/2022
Updated:
12/7/2022

The parents of a toddler who beat 10 percent survival odds after being born 16 weeks premature and weighing just over a pound are sharing her incredible story of surviving and thriving.

Troy and Jasmine Tobias from Norwich in Norfolk, England, are parents to 2-year-old Isla. Troy builds Lotus cars for a living while Jasmine is a full-time mom.

Jasmine became pregnant in April 2020 and gave birth to Isla at 24 weeks on Sept. 25, 2020, at the Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital. Newborn Isla weighed just 1.35 pounds (558 grams), little more than the weight of a can of soup.

Baby Isla holding dad Troy's hand. (Courtesy of <a href="https://www.instagram.com/isla_of_adventure/">Jasmine Tobias</a>)
Baby Isla holding dad Troy's hand. (Courtesy of Jasmine Tobias)
Troy and Jasmine with their newborn daughter. (Courtesy of <a href="https://www.instagram.com/isla_of_adventure/">Jasmine Tobias</a>)
Troy and Jasmine with their newborn daughter. (Courtesy of Jasmine Tobias)

Isla needed UV light therapy for jaundice, and at 3 weeks old, an ileostomy and reversal procedure on her small intestine. Sitting in the waiting room of the hospital’s NICU, her parents were terrified.

“We'd been waiting years to have a little one and struggled to get pregnant,” Jasmine told The Epoch Times.

“Now it’s finally happened, we were so close to losing her and thought, ‘Why is this happening to us?’ I remember thinking, ‘Well, she’s not coming back. This is the last time I’ll see our daughter alive and I haven’t even held her yet.'”

The warrior baby Isla made it out of surgery, but her doctors estimated she had just a 10 percent chance of surviving. Isla spent her first five months of life in an incubator, and Jasmine and Troy were advised to take it one day at a time.

(Courtesy of <a href="https://www.instagram.com/isla_of_adventure/">Jasmine Tobias</a>)
(Courtesy of Jasmine Tobias)
(Courtesy of <a href="https://www.instagram.com/isla_of_adventure/">Jasmine Tobias</a>)
(Courtesy of Jasmine Tobias)

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the parents were not allowed to invite their families to the NICU ward to visit.

“For me, the challenge was not being able to have family there on the unit for support when we needed it on the tough days,” Jasmine said.

Troy added: “For me, it was holding everything together so that mom and daughter were as calm and stress-free as possible.”

To help cope, the couple set up an Instagram page, “Isla of Adventure,” to share Isla’s progress and vent their fears and frustrations. Their daughter proved to be a fighter. After 140 nail-biting days in the NICU, Isla was finally allowed home.
Isla in the NICU with her stuffed bunny. She was later gifted the same bunny on her birthday. (Courtesy of <a href="https://www.instagram.com/isla_of_adventure/">Jasmine Tobias</a>)
Isla in the NICU with her stuffed bunny. She was later gifted the same bunny on her birthday. (Courtesy of Jasmine Tobias)
Isla going home after 140 days in NICU. (Courtesy of <a href="https://www.instagram.com/isla_of_adventure/">Jasmine Tobias</a>)
Isla going home after 140 days in NICU. (Courtesy of Jasmine Tobias)
Isla meeting her dad on his lunch break at work. (Courtesy of <a href="https://www.instagram.com/isla_of_adventure/">Jasmine Tobias</a>)
Isla meeting her dad on his lunch break at work. (Courtesy of Jasmine Tobias)
Isla’s parents continue to update her Instagram page with awareness for preemies, heartwarming clips of Isla loving life, and, most recently, Isla taking her first steps into her grandparents’ arms.

Grateful father Troy found another way to give back. Despite never having boxed before, he committed himself to train for a white-collar boxing match in the summer of 2022 to raise funds for the NICU that supported his daughter’s fight for life—to buy toys, blankets, and clothes for the babies, and diaries for the parents.

Troy said: “They rely on donations for this, as their funding goes on medical equipment and medicine. I spent 12 weeks intensive training for a fight consisting of three 2-minute rounds. I told myself, ‘Isla won her fight, and now it’s my turn!’”

The proud dad came out on top with approx. US $2,990 (2,500 pounds) for the NICU and claims winning his fight in solidarity with his daughter was “one of the best feelings in the world.”

Troy and Jasmine after the boxing match in summer 2022. (Courtesy of <a href="https://www.instagram.com/isla_of_adventure/">Jasmine Tobias</a>)
Troy and Jasmine after the boxing match in summer 2022. (Courtesy of Jasmine Tobias)
Isla on her birthday. (Courtesy of <a href="https://www.instagram.com/isla_of_adventure/">Jasmine Tobias</a>)
Isla on her birthday. (Courtesy of Jasmine Tobias)

Jasmine advises other parents with preemies struggling to cope to hold on tight to one another.

“You’re a team. You’re in this together and need to be there for each other. Sadly you can’t change the situation, it is what it is, and you need to ride the waves,” she said.

Troy added: “Never give up. No matter how desperate it may seem, just never give up. Support each other at all costs, it’s a stressful environment and you'll need all the support you can get.”

The couple are now in the process of writing a book to share their story and give other parents something to relate to. They celebrated healthy, happy Isla’s joint second birthday and christening in September.

“At the christening, she just wanted to splash in the water!” Jasmine said, while Troy claimed his favorite moment was “Isla walking around the room saying ‘Hiya!’ to everyone.”

Both parents describe their daughter as amazing, saying, “She’s the most loving, cheeky little flower, and nothing fazes her at all. She’s absolutely incredible.”

(Courtesy of <a href="https://www.instagram.com/isla_of_adventure/">Jasmine Tobias</a>)
(Courtesy of Jasmine Tobias)
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